These are the legends of Bowcock and their Monumental deeds 



Dave W and Roy Cooper, 7.47.45 & 7.47.45 [Yes, inseparable co-ordinated watch stopping]

Unfortunately for the enigmatic Mr W there is no shortest surname prize at the Bowcock.

These two bromantic Bowcockers share a mutual uniformed history of subalternship and brigand bashing bravado. These two are also soon heading for Ultra Trail Snowdonia where it is to be hoped they don’t suffer the same GPX meltdown witnessed on the Bowcock.

Sneezy Roy’s Strava report of a full on cattle battle and avian aeriel combat were poorly evidenced (written report only) but we do have shots of the his and his wraparound sunglasses in action (with just a hint of a polleny sneeze soon forthcoming from Roy on the right) and also a picture of brave Dave tackling the immersed gateway of stupendous slurry.

Snapping some bluebells was hungry work so this pair of soldiers eschewed the Crowning Glory finish in favour of a  “Bowcocker’s Bahji” refuelling with overloud celebrations via vindaloos at the Taj Mahal. There was a special meal deal on so in the end it was a post run 2 become 1 for The Spice Boys!

20.4.24 &  27.4.24 Sue Mackie, Willow and Rosie

10.45.58, Sue and Willow. DNF, Rosie

Sue’s return to Bowcockland this year sees an early claim to defend the 2023 Canicross prize with Willow whose wilting willpower and paw power saw this attempt spilt into two chunks of marching. Willow has also posed for a sprightly photo amongst the bluebells, prize category as yet unknown.

The pair were joined for the second leg by Rosie, who called seniority on a full Bowcock and so puts a claim on a Friend of the Bowcock Medal. Its also a DNF for her – Dog that Nobody Forced.

Rosie and Willow also proved themselves failures in their bid to blend in surreptitiously at Black Dog Halt.

Sue’s ‘traverse’ also saw a number of great photos, in marked contrast to last year’s miserable zero and evidenced her unusual picnic of Kronch Pemmikan and Pork Scratchings (guarded for her by Willow).

She also snapped the ‘odd pole of metal names’ that no Bowcocker before her has spotted. Spot Sue’s Romantic Pole is hereby an extra challenge for future Bowcockers.

Sue’s split attempt was also a Cock-bow, with Sue claiming wrongly that the views are better with the route reversed. Sue is cordially reminded of the corpus rotate function.

Top snuffling to this trio!

19-20 April 2024 – Dave Murray – 13.18.04 – When Bristol’s finest engineer, Dave Murray, noticed that Chippenham had a beer festival on, from 11am on Saturday, what more logical route to get there could he find than an 8pm train arrival, an overnight Bowcock with a night sleeping in the bivvy mid route, and half a parkrun?

What a way for the Bowcock to join in the acheivement fun of the London marathon weekend.

Dave’s adventure started by hatching the idea on Friday afternoon. When he messaged me, It all seemed terribly sane, even though it obviously wasn’t. So I shelved my pack run plan and joined him in the moonlight from Chippenham to Derry Hill, before sending him on into the night armed with map, compass, bivvy, beard and brain.

As I drove down to Portsmouth the next morning at 7am for a university open day, I was a somewhat relieved to learn that Dave had roused himself from vagrancy and was now breakfasting in Lacock.

Dave has some fine entries into the ‘flora’ photography comp, and has taken an early lead in the ‘No Hurry, It’s Dave Murray, Vagrancy Bowcock Beer Pageant Prize”.

If you are keen to challenge Dave for his eponymous Vagrancy award between now and October, please don’t tell me in advance about your bid!

16th April 2024 – Jennifer Colley – 5.45.35 – This year’s Bowcock was declared open as intrepid Jenn set off as this year’s pathfinder. And Jenn sprung a Cockbow on us delivering a snappy reversal of the route, following in the footsteps of last year’s rebellious Royall, Alwyn. Reversing the route gives you fresh legs of the Melksham meander. I wasn’t listening too well when Jenn described the going through there as ‘beautiful but toothless.’ At first I thought she said  ‘brutal and ruthless’, but that can’t be right?

Jenn has also put her marker down early in the flora photography stakes, grabbing some beauts of the bluebells.

Hopefully the first of a few Colley specials this year, and an excellent tune up before our hero takes on the sewagey charms of the billionaire’s back gardens, the Thames Path 100 on 4th May.



May 1st 2023: Sue Powell – Sue took on the monumental Bowcock as her first ever marathon walk and she busied around the route in a 9.43.47, a very smart walk pace of  3mph on this terrain. The first to conquer Bowcock!





May 1st 2023: Mark Powell – Woodland lover Mark is a Chippenham hero of mine, forever finding epic trails to run and walk, and he joined the Bowcock roll of honour by accompanying Sue in swashbuckling style. I have added a second to his time to make Sue the first finisher so 9.43.48 is Mark’s mark.




May 6th 2023: Liliana Soto – a training run ahead of a 100 miler,  but nevertheless a pacy looking result from the trail running maestro from Mexico. Liliana also added a little extra sightseeing before Woodrow (pictured) which isn’t compulsory. 5.13.08 was the time for this first tilt at the Bowcock.




May 13th 2023: David Warren, Dan Jewell and Mark Brown – this was a social paced run for training evidenced by the casual look in some of the photos rather than the snappy 4.41.40 (David) 4.41.43 (Mark) , 4.42.40 (Dan) elapsed time which even included a diversion to Sainsbury’s in Calne for a toilet break. This triumvirate hale from the valley ‘over yonder’ and implemented the Warren start, beginning the route in Melksham. That was a great filip to this organiser as the Bowcock encourages runners to make an expedition of their own choosing. Also nice to see Chippenham Harriers now matched by ‘visitor’ runners 3-3. Team Warren also take an early lead in the flora and fauna photo categories and David even made a video of the garlic woods on Old Derry Hill. This trail-able threesome really worked the Bowcock from all angles, well done!













May 21st 2023: Dave Mackie: Our shilly-shallying comrade from Corsham also managed a 6.01.19 complete completion of Bowcock including bonus points for ice cream and cola at Lacock and becoming the first to indulge in the Crowning Glory finish with a celebratory pint at Chippenham’s 3 Crowns. You can’t ask for more from a Bowcock attempt than to get evidence of both the fabled golf tree of Bowood in fruit and line up all four of the Oxford Sandy and Black pigs of Woodrow. He also took a really nice early morning photo of the Avon from Monkton Park.  Dave’s report confirmed that the Melksham stretch is at very least a little unkempt right now! Bowcockers are certainly doing our collective bit to keep these paths alive, and they are also the best bit for sharing the trail with a mass of deer. ‘Fallen out of use’ is a great excuse for farms, estates and councils to overlook maintainence of these long-established and traditional rights of way.








Sunday 28th May

Sunny Sunday saw an intrepid trio of Running Is Our Therapy runners from darkest Dorsetshire take on the Bowcock, joined by Corsham Running Club’s one and only Bolton Bullet, Stewart Unsworth and Chippenham Harrier’s Francis Wainwright.

For the first 13 miles we were also accompanied by experienced Bowcocker Liliana Soto who in so doing leads the way in the Supportive Comrades Of Bowcock (SCOB) stakes.

The run was especially notable for Mr Mutter, for whom this event was number 25 of 52 proposed marathons in 2023. He prepared carefully for this auspicious occasion by joining Stewart and Francis for a beer sodden Saturday evening of ‘My Best DNF’ red hot ultra chat.

Some lackadaisical watch stopping from El and Wendy* gave Andy the win on the day even though clear visual evidence suggests they crossed the line together. Watch control even wrongly brought them into line with finish times for Francis and Stewart,  who crept home in danger of being overtaken by a continent in drift in the last three miles. Stewart’s poor excuse was his 70-mile run the weekend before whilst Francis laid the blame for his undignified heel-dragging traipse at the door of incompetence. Stewart nevertheless takes an early lead in the most dogged Bowood completion category.

This was the first successful bid to feature ‘Fun in the Sun at the Rising Sun’ with lager tops and lemonades at the beer garden bar on mile 14 and ‘Melting pops from Melksham’s shops’ delivered as an impromptu aid station on Woodrow by the implacable Victoria Lloyd.

The course was reported in fine picturesque condition with likely improvements once the ground staff have done their cud chewing duties to lower the gert-lush grass on the Spye-Melksham-Lacock stretch.  The Monumental Bowood House and Lacock Abbey were especially glorious this May Bank Holiday weekend.

Some special prize contenders emerged on the day with Andy getting ahead by a nose in the best snout shot category, whilst El and Wendy have two excellent lens leaders in ‘Flora’ with Wendy’s wild orchid an especially good spot shot. If Wendy did outsmart El in the exotic flora stakes, then El has the claim in the ‘Self-owned moaner who didn’t moan too much in spite of the very anti-Scottish weather and still took a close up of a clover’ flora sub-category.  El also contends in both the photobombing and obliterated by an umbrella (pictured) contests.

The group also gilt-embellished the Mackie Crowning Glory finish by reconvening sweatily at the 3 Crowns amidst an admirable galaxy of morris men and madrigals who were refreshing themselves at the half-marathon point of their own exhausting endurance challenge – the Chippenham Folk Festival.

Wendy Britton 6.37.48, Andy Mutter 6.25.50, El Rollett 6.37.39 – Dorchester RIOT.

Francis Wainwright 6.37.01 – Chippenham Harriers

Stewart Unsworth 6.38.50 – Corsham Running Club

Current completions: Visitors 8 – Chippenham Harriers 4 *Disputed as both claim they ran the ‘ultra’ by starting this run from the race director’s dilapidated garages.** **Overruled

Saturday 3rd June Determination and resourcefulness on this hot June day saw local runner Aaron Laws complete the Bowcock, self-supported in an elapsed 4.54.44, all the more impressive as his first go, a few weeks back, resulted in a DNF. Using two pubs and ‘a lovely old chap’ called Keith en route for topping up the water, this was just the 4th sub-5hr completion of the Bowcock. Aaron also has some strong contenders in the landscape photography competition, made ‘friends’ with the cud chewing mowers of Melksham, rallied a full farrow of Oxford sandy and blacks to squealling attention and deployed the infamous Mackie Crowning Glory finish with a chilled pint of cider at the 3 Crowns. Aaron is heading for Race to the Stones ultra this year where he’ll be joined by at least one other Bowcocker (see below). Aaron has no running club curently so his success is one more chalked up to ‘visitors’.



Saturday 3rd June: Emma Haley – one of the fastest ever Chippenham Harriers over shorter distances and track running, epic Emma has finally seen the perfect logic of taking on 100K Race to the Stones this summer and used this bright Saturday to get some speedy mileage in around the Bowcock with 5hrs5.27 elapsed putting her top of the table so far in the 1st F stakes, espcially impressive as self-preservation took over in the long grass from Melksham to Lacock. Emma also scores highly for documenting her decline in three selfies – composed in from of the Derry Hill Bowood gatehouse, just a little bit tense in front of Lacock Abbey and finally gasping for air in the hot streets of Chippenham.

7th June 2023 Nick Hancock – Our exasperated hero renamed the Bowcock the Cow-cock after the Melksham cattle transformed themselves overnight into marauding buffalo on the lush Avon Savannah.The gallant galloper of Corsham town already battled his way through spiky plants and chest high foliage when the quarrelsome quadropeds turned on him. Remarkably he not only survived these dairy dalliances with rampaging ruminants, but did so with an elapsed time of 4hr28.40 which tops the overall leaderboard!

Nick finally found his post-cattle bottle for a Mackie Crowning Glory salute with a refreshing J2O in the 3 Crowns. He also took an awesome photo of the Abbey in dappled sunlight. Plus points to his score for both.

We maintain that in spite of the Hancock Cowcock Bowcock experience the marathon is worth persevering with for anyone contemplating a stab at it this month (ie in current conditions). The long grass is challenging at the moment  (hopefully it should be gone soon enough) and slow progress through it is expected/advised. It affects about 4 miles of the route, it isn’t constant and there are plenty of let ups where you can get back into your stride. It provides a similar hazard to mud on uneven terrrain.  Using these ancient rights of way year round is the best way to retain them before they fall out of use, and the monuments of this marathon are very rewarding in the current sunshine. On the Spye Estate a wide route through one field was kindly mown a couple of weeks ago to make our progress easier.

Congratulations Nick on making a fabulous time even if you didn’t always have a fabulous time. An outstanding running performance notched up to the ‘visitors’, and the third Corsham Running Club finisher, to make the current standings Visitors 10 – Chippenham Harriers 5.


9th June 2023 – Jennifer Colley and Alwyn Royall I’ve paired these two together as they connected by Extra Sensory Perseverence to run the Bowcock/Cockbow in opposite directions on the same day c(l)ocking elapsed times which included plenty of photos, Jennifer gamely setting out to right the previous wrong of a DNF on the course (hooray, extra well done). Alwyn annointed the Royall Reversal by assessing the route to get to the shady bit for the hottest part of the day. Jenn remedied that same heat hazard with ice cream and swimming.

Jenn leads the duathlon that she devised with a 7.23.01 Bowcock swim-run whilst Alwyn’s Cockbow proved somewhat slicker with 6.18.24.

Jenn’s extra points are many, delivering a very complete Bowcock experience and embellishing it with two unique upgrades – the aforementioned Colley Duathlon as well as deploying ‘Colleyultramode’ with a suckie pouch of baby food sustenance by Ella’s Kitchen. Jenn brought her pro-photographer game to the event with the best Bowood pic to date and top scores in ‘landscape’,  ‘flora’ and ‘FMCG packaging’.

Alwyn also scored alarmingly highly with ‘most threatening cattle that turned out to be docile’ photo.

Both thoroughly celebrated the many nuances of trail running in an ever changing landscape with Alwyn ‘certain to return’ whist Jenn ‘had the best time’. Further top tips from genial genius Jenn, that the cafe in Lacock has a drinking water tap outside and the sports centre in Calne has a drinking fountain.

That’s two more notches in the Harriers belt, now Visitors 10 – Chippenham Harriers 7.

Sunday 9th July: Giles Archer and Julia Maddocks, 5.23.58 and 5.24.02. 5.24 each was declared but synchronised watch stopping was one of the few skills outside the compass of this inspirational duo. They ran in admiration of bridges and in so doing take the lead in the brand new Bowcocknected category. The Archer-Maddocks axis is also the bridge building department of Chippenham Harriers running club. Few others can match their ability to connect with runners of all paces and styles across all local running clubs. A proud day for the Bowcock orgnaiser.

5.24 is also an excellent time on the course which relented a little in cooler weather, though the bovine chorus is still in attendance necessitating some walking at the dairy farm after Melksham.

Extra points have been awarded for guesting ace Harrier Mark Smith into a photo.

Arch Rivalry: Future Bowcockers are hereby challenged to pull shapes under Archer’s Arch better than a star shaped Archer (pic 3 below)

Visitors 10 – Chippenham Harriers 9

If you do want a cow free Bowcock experience, please ask for the ‘abridged’ 20 mile version













Wednesday 12th July: Astonishing work from established hero of Bowcock, Jennifer Colley, already the duathlon leader. A new improved time from Jenn also improved her Bowcock strike rate to 2 from 3. She has also thrown down the gauntlet with the best pic so far of Bowood House, overtaking herself in the process. 6.01.09 was the time this time clipping more than an hour off her previous best, largely by eliminating swimming.  Her lovely shot of the Oxford Sandy and Blacks has also been added to the big pig album.






Sunday July 30th: Ben Engstrom and Jake Stephens

4.47.53 & 4.47.52 were the elapsed times for these two genial giants of running, the trail detectives,  Big Ben and the Doc. These two managed to add an hour to their moving time simply by chatting about mathematical vs metaphysical vs metaphorical mud at every monumental style. Or if not that, maybe they added it some other way. Anyhow, extra time was taken without even a sneaky pint of orange and lemonade in view.

The gloomier conditions of this weekend didn’t present the Bowcock at its most photogenic, but nevertheless we do have a river landscape wothy of prize contenton. And its is a contentious one as both Ben and Doc took almost identical snaps of the Avon in green regalia. Who took the better one?

Anyhow, admirable bromantic running, both. Big Ben and the Doc have also taken the Harriers ahead of the Visitors for the first time since early May.

Visitors 10 – Harriers 11

Sunday July 30th Natasha Banks, Mark Barnett, Stew Mac, Sarah Morris (6.09.54, 6.12.04, 6.11.57, 6.12.54). The gallant group of gallopers deployed the Pewsham Primary by not even bothering to schlep into ‘Nam for the church start. The set off from the canal instead. This team grouped together and shared their various skills. Mark ‘my words its that way’ Barnett took charge of directional reassurance aided by Sarah reading my turn by turn instructions. The noble Sarah ‘No Bull’ Morris brought her previous DNF experience and remembered her cattle gauarding aura this time. Stew Mac took the plaudits for wearing cool shades in the shady cool of the head high maizy maze. And GlitterBanks keep everybody in focus with a fabulously full photo library and even included a quackshot (below).

So Sarah joins Aaron Laws and Jennifer Colley in the resilience stakes, Banks’ river banks photo joins the queue of contenders for the best Avon pic, Stew gets credited with the Pewsham Sham Start and Mark takes the lead in cow calming competition, if there is one.

Visitors 10 – Harriers 15

August 2023 – The Brocockers

(Def: Brocock – A Bowcock that has been portioned into bite size chunks)

They travelled accross the land in two broken bands of brothers and sisters. They broke down my Monumental Bowcock as only they knew how, travelling under cover of sunlight, laughter and infectious camraderie. They rested their weary heads overnight splitting this marathon into bite size bounds of Bowcockery. They completed the Bowcock in two teams. Each team delivered completion. Team A in 3 days. Team B in two.  Both teams deployed the Boswell Mailbox Melksham Halt leaving the fearsome cattle of the Avon and the maize maze as part of a a final day sprint for glory.

Team A comprised Gillian Elliott and Zara Boswell

Team B comprised Nick Blair, Vicki Bolton and Karen Simpson

Gillian Elliott and Zara Boswell 

The dazzling duo were accompanied by Rufus at least on day 1 of their adventure, so scoring Halted Dog at Black Dog Halt points. Rufus also evidenced a bid for the Colley Duathlon taking a timely dip in the Avon.   For his efforts, Rufus picks up an official Supportive Comrade of the Bowcock backpat.

Gillian and Zara were also magnets for the ASBOvines, even for the stages where Rufus wasn’t invited along.

Some notable photography included bridges that challenge the Maddocks-Archer axis in the Bowconnected category, and accummulusated points in the new Best Cloud championship. There were some glittering shots of the Bowcock’s many water features.

We also had some of the most expressive selfies delivered by Zara, the recognised all-time queen of the genre.

Further points are given too for successfully hunting down Harrier legend Steve Wood.


Nick Blair, Vicki Bolton and Karen Simpson

This thirsty trio brought treated both the Rising Sun and The Pig and Whistle to their travellers’s tales, scoring the best glass half full attempt since my own completion with team RIOT & Unsworth.

After Brocock Team A claimed a classic sunset photo, Brocock Team B delivered with sunsets through tall things, and, in so doing were the first of any Bockcockers to make a feature of the Pewsham pylon.

All three took their turn in front of the lens, Karen showing off stile style, Nick doing ‘quizzical’ as only he can and Vicki resplendent on a wet verge.

Fantastic work by all 3 saw this Bowcock conquered.


Visitors 10 – Chippenham Harriers 20

Sunday September 3rd


Liz Laird and Sarah Morris (Liz 8.12.37, Sarah 8.12.36). An excellent bit of social Bowcocking saw both The Landsdowne and The Rising Sun called into play for orange juice and lemonade in this late flourishing of summer. Glass half full awards duly recommended.

This was a remarkable 3rd Bowcock bid for the now very nettled cow-companion Sarah, joining Jennifer Colley as the most committed Bowcocker. Can either claim a third loop before the autumn?

The Bowcock is also honoured to add Calne’s greatest multimarathoner Liz Laird to its list of accomplished participants.

From a photography perspective there were two stand outs, intrepid action from the Melksham Forest Corn Jungle and an rare image of the newly shorn alpacas from the smallholding.

And the best before and after shots so far.

Great work both!

Visitors 10 – Chippenham Harriers 21


Sunday 17th September

Susan Mackie and Willow – 8.43.33

This canny Canicross duo managed a dogged Bowcock scamper in inclement conditions traversing “corn as high as an elephant’s eye” in pursuit of Bowcock glory when all eyes were trained on the Chippenham Half Marathon.

Valiant exploration was sustained with pemmican and pork scratchings, a diet worthy of Shackleton.

The wet conditions mean that this Bowcock leant more towards Obscura than Camera, so we are reliant on our wild imaginings for the purposes of this record.

Willow neveretheless now heads the list of canine completions.

Visitors 11 – Chippenham Harriers 21


Saturday 23rd September

David Warren  4.05.14

Craig Rumble 4.05.15

The pacy pair still found time to celebrate the brilliant weather for this last Saturday of the Wiltshire summer as the sunshine lit up nigh on perfect running conditions. Even the cattle were MIA today.

This bristle-bearded duo ran the first and second best times on the Bowcock with only a click of a Garmin separating them.

This was a nutrition and hydration exercise for Craig who then forgot to hydrate!

Extra points for the stylish eyewear.

Contenders from David in Monumental Photography capturing both Bowood and Lacock in the edge of Autumn sunlight.

David also put himself into winningiest winner contention as this was also a Double Bowcock May to September completion.

Phenomenal running both!

Saturday 23rd September

Natasha Banks 5.36.45, Sally Van De Burgt – 5.36.45, Mark Powell 6.05.10 (MBM) and 6.50.10 (PPUMBM), Clive Newman – 6.05.14, Chris Hunt – 6.05. 17, Francis Wainwright – 6.05.19, Vicky Fletcher – 6.08.49, Andy Dunn 7.01.07 (PPUMBM), Liliana Soto  time tbc, currently a Garmin-Assisted 15.18.01 elapsed!

This ‘group’ started as two and came together as one, halfway through the fun, at the Rising Sun to hydrate their run. They also recovened for a Mackie D Crowning Glory at the Three Crowns. They set off in two groups the quick moving VDB, Banks and Dunn trio hunting down the socially adept group ahead. Andy Dunn, ‘fresh’ from 330kms in the Alps was espcially lucky to get directions having dissolved his GPX into binary code on his way to the start. Like Sally, he was reliant on a fully functioning Tashnav. This trio also mustered up a  selfie that challenges in the Bowconnected category.

Andy freshened up for the Bowcock with a Chippenham Park Run and in so doing became a unwitting disciple of Mark Powell who initiated the Powell Parkrun Ultra Monumental Bowcock Marathon, also claiming first finisher of it, Andy taking second.

The first group was joined at the outset by Friend of the Bowcock medallist Mark Smith who accidentally tagged along for about 10 miles before realising he was now very far from home.

Some notable achievements in this group.

Natasha scored a Double Bowcock, attempted the Navigation Diploma Grade C and captured an enigmatic shot of Lacock Abbey.

Sally scored a third marathon of 2023 and her third ever, having previously said she would do no such thing. She later added points for pints with the family at the Three Crowns.

Mark’s eponymous PPUMBM win was also a May to September Double Bowcock.

Clive added +1 to the Bowcock’s keen contingent of Corsham runners. The Bowcock was merely a warm up for his zippy Devizes 10K on Sunday.

Chris brought a measured approach to the group and then gained points for his enormous picnic. Chris’s careful Bowcock comes ahead of his Worldy bid for V60 glory at Chicago Marathon in 2 weeks time.

Francis Wainwright scored a Double Bowcock, and has submitted monument, hairy cow and alpaca pics that will surely challenge for prizes, especially as he is the sole judge and arbiter.

Vicky crowned her first season as a Chippenham Harrier with this chatty Bowcock, making it all look rather easy. The Bowcock waylaid her a little longer than Manchester marathon had, and featured a more maizy maze.

Andy (centre) used the Bowcock to help inspire his future life choices and, thanks to our very useful advice, is now fully committed to taking on the Tor Des Glaciers next year – 450KM and 32,000M of elevation in the Italian Alps. He qualified for it by beating 130hours in the cheeky Tor des Geants 330KM, fuelled on polenta.

Liliana scored a May to September Double Bowcock. It was highly appropriate to have her with us this final weekend.  Whilst I planned and mapped the route she was also instrumental in bringing the route into being. Without Liliana’s resilience, back in February and March, we would never have found the right route through the popular maize crop (that was then plough) nor had so many palyful adventues amongst the smily dairy herds of the lush Melksham to Lacock pastures. Even the farm workers had lost the location of one of the bridge stiles!  This time out Liliana also scored extra pig points with video evidence of the galavanting Oxford Sandy and Blacks. Thank you!

Many thanks too to family VDB, Sue Powell, Neil Perry, Stuart Dinwoodie and Stewart Unsworth for joining our Crowning Glory.

Saturday 23rd September

Ian Trussler 9.21.24

I could not have scripted a better final hero of the Bowcock to write about than the legendary Ian Trussler. I’m not sure that there are many locals more steeped in the West Country trails and byways than Ian.

Ian’s verdict: “Hated the sweet corn most. I felt like an actor in the Twilight Zone. Expected to walk around in circles until I was abducted by Zogons. And I was not disappointed. At least they said they were Zogons.”

Ian has since been spotted on hs return to earth after a super-stellar disorienteering spacewalk.


The Monumental Bowcock has proved to be more than I could ever imagine thanks to the sense of fun and embrace of adventure from its participants and supporters. One of the greatest pleasures of this event has been to see a virtual/real event create bonds and make lasting friendships. 39 human individuals completed a Bowcock. With doubles the number of completions rises to 46. Willow it makes 47.

Visitors 15 + a woofer – Chippenham Harriers 24

I’m going to get busy with some prizes. A leading local designer has been engaged to conjure up an image befitting this event. 8pm on Thursday 19th October is the expected date for this, at the Sports and Social Club, Chippenham. There will be an optional run just before at 7pm so that you can elect to being a bit cold and sweaty for the momentoes, just like any other race. PS Please wear hi-vis.

To everyone who has completed a Bowcock, I salute you.  To the many who have messaged me with the intention of doing it this autumn, the GPX is available and you will be added to this Roll of Honour.  The route may become very water-logged as it is now rainy season on the Melksham savannah.